Vibrant brushstrokes of crimson and navy are carefully painted on to the white brick wall by National Art Honor Society (NAHS) students, giving what was once a mundane surface, a pop of Tompkins spirit. Spreading spirit through creativity and masterfully designed work, NAHS works diligently to incorporate art technique with core Tompkins values to create public displays throughout the school. Alongside the Tompkins “T” and the school seal located on the second floor of the school that was crafted last year, the organization is now in the process of completing a mural for the wrestling team. NAHS sponsor and art teacher Emily Smelser is in charge of organizing the mural, and wanted to give the NAHS members the opportunity to create their own design for the wall.
“Coach Ankney was very open minded and asked for us to come up with a mural that incorporated wrestling, Tompkins logos and the words ‘Tompkins Wrestling’. My NAHS students had to research different wrestling techniques and logos to create their own. I provided the sketches to Coach Ankey, and he picked his favorite to be painted on the wall,” said Smelser.
Keeping in mind the aspects that Coach Ankney requested to be in the mural, many students submitted detailed designs that represented what it means to be a Falcon wrestler. The design that was chosen was created by senior Barbara Sulbaran, and depicts a wrestler reaching toward the sky in victory.
“The emblem chosen for the wall was one of my designs, and the idea behind it came from speaking with one of the team members about what they would like to see,” said Sulbaran.
Intended to inspire athletes, the mural was designed with the opinions of the wrestlers in mind, allowing the painting to have a greater impact on the wrestlers who will see it every day during practice. In order to create such a massive piece, the students work diligently after school to complete it as quickly as possible. Smelser is proud of her students for taking on the mural, and is excited for impact it will leave on the student body and the NAHS members.
“I love the fact that one of my students had the opportunity to design something special, which will be forever displayed,” said Smelser.
In addition to the wrestling mural, NAHS is preparing to take on several more projects in the upcoming months including creating logos for Girls Soccer locker room, the nutrition room, and the baseball dugout. With many ambitious creative projects in formation, NAHS members are excited to start the year off well with the painting of the wrestling mural.
“Being part of NAHS projects that add originality and school spirit to our school is very rewarding. With the Katy ISD focus of leaving legacy, I truly believe that all the NAHS members are leaving their legacies through creativity and amazing artistic talent,” said Sulbaran.